You know her – the mum who works full time, makes cupcakes in the shape of whatever her kids want, organises perfect birthday parties, has an immaculate home, eats Paleo/sugar free/dairy free/wheat free/vegan/whatever and always looks like she’s just stepped out of a fashion magazine! She smiles and everything appears perfect? You know her, she’s the woman that many of us put pressure on ourselves to be.
How does she do it all on her own?
She doesn’t… She can’t… If she tries, she will no doubt eventually crack. No woman can do it all. Admittedly, I was a woman trying to do it all once – running a company, engaged in public speaking, juggling my kids appointments (including speech therapy and psychology), being present at most school events, cooking the cupcakes they wanted (brains and ghosts, yes I decorated them all), organising a complete Monster High Party where my sister and I were even dressed up as live Monster High Dolls, body paint, wigs and all!! As well as, cooking dinner, exercising, cleaning the house – the lot!
I was a single mum and had no romantic relationship to distract me. It was just my kids and I. I had my family helping me and people working for me, so I was not doing it all on my own, but others thought I was. Here are my tips to be a super mum.
How can you be a Supermum, save yourself time, money and your sanity?
1.) Define what “Supermum” means to you
Being a Supermum for me means I have the lifestyle I want and my family comes first, always. All my decisions are based on what is best for my family. I want to work, I also want quality time with them on the weekends. I want a clean home, I want to travel, I want to be able to jump on opportunities I am interested in and be there for my kids awards and things at school.
Work out the love language of everyone in your family, including yourself (there are 5 which I mention more here). Most of the time, kids just want quality time with you. Mine get one on one time every week, along with me switching off my phone when we are doing things together, we talk when walking to and from school, have a family night every week (usually a movie and their favourite food), things like that. They love it and look forward to these weekly traditions. I also book in regular holidays for us, sometimes it is camping, or staying with family for free somewhere since we are the only ones in Melbourne. They don’t care if it’s a hotel or sharing a bed with their bestie for a sleepover. They want time, they want to feel loved, they want you. Quality over quantity is important here.
2.) Take control of your time
Check out the infographic below which outlines it in more detail (then keep reading for more time and money saving tips!)
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistic, Australian women spend an average of 25 hours on household duties as well as working full-time! Australian men spend an average of 15 hours on household duties plus work full-time.
If we all have 168 hours a week, you are working 40 of them, cleaning/doing household stuff for 25, meant to be sleeping for 56 of them (who seriously gets 8 hours of sleep a night?), commuting around 5 or more hours a week, spending 7 to 14 grooming, getting ready etc you are left with basically 24 hours to yourself spread throughout the week. Unless you have to work longer, go to that farewell or wedding, seeing family, take your sick kid to the doctor or whatever else you have to do, then you probably have no time.
Outsource any job you can such as cleaning, washing the car, pet grooming, minor errands etc. Before you say you can’t afford it, read tip 4, further down.
Teach your kids! Not everything in the house needs to be done by you. Doing everything for everyone burns you out and means your kids will not grow up to be adults who know how to do things for themselves. There are basic living classes for millennials now because their parents didn’t teach them basics like boiling an egg.
My kids are 8 and 9 and can do everything in our home, including a few basic meals. They pack their own lunch for school and I know I can ask either one of them at any time to clean the bathroom or wash the clothes and it will be done. It’s not always perfect, but it is done.
4.) Budget it in and make more money
If you have more time, you could make more money if you wanted, which would result in you being able to outsource more. It’s a great cycle once you get into it, but how do you get the initial money to get it started?
- Budget it in. If you can start with one such as getting a cleaner once a week. Use that spare 2 hours or so to do something else to make money (we have 51 ways to make money from home here or 10 ways to make $1,000 this month to get you started). If you can make more money in those 2 hours than it costs you to pay for a cleaner, then you are in front both with time and money.
- Look for ways to make some side income to start outsourcing. Can you do freelance writing, start a blog, do market research etc? Use that side income to pay for a cleaner, car wash or whatever else you want to outsource to free up your time to make more money.
- View it as self-care. I advocate everyone ensuring they budget for self-care and sanity money. Put it in your budget and start putting yourself first.
- Give up other things to pay for it. Take your lunch to work, walk instead of driving the car, buy second-hand clothes instead of new, go over all your expenses to see where you can save money then put it towards outsourcing. Start with the 31 one ways to make or save $200+ we have here.
5.) Change your mindset
You do not need to do everything and especially do not need to do it all on your own. The Beyonce’s and Kim Kardashians of the world have entire teams helping them including chefs, cleaners, nannies, personal trainers, housekeepers, assistants and more.
You are allowed to get help! It is not a sign of weakness. Stop trying to do it all yourself and go with the mindset that getting help and outsourcing home cleaning, whether it is paid or not, will help you mentally, physically and emotionally which in turn makes you a better mum.
You are also allowed to say NO! If you don’t want to do something, don’t do it. Stop taking on everyone else’s jobs. Help where you can and want to, do not be pressured into taking on more than you can manage though.
Look at your life. What do you want to be doing? What do you want to outsource? What lifestyle is important to you? How can you afford it and make it happen?
What tips would you add?